By CARL GREEN
East Alton, IL – Machinists District 9 members and a well-dressed rat picketed the Wood River Township offices on 9th Street in East Alton Oct. 9 in support the union’s agreement to organize deputy assessors and provide them with a modest and overdue raise.
District 9 negotiated the contract with Assessor Sandy Shaw but Township Supervisor Mike Babcock refused accept it and has interfered in the collective bargaining process by convincing the township board to hire two expensive anti-union attorneys to fight the agreement rather than give six workers a small raise.
Babcock is also a Republican candidate for the 111th District in the Illinois House of Representatives, facing Illinois AFL-CIO-endorsed incumbent Democrat Monica Bristow.
About 20 union members picketed the township offices last week, receiving strong support from area drivers who blasted their horns and shouted their approval.
The Greater Madison County Federation of Labor also sent a letter to union households last week calling Babcock out and urging union members to keep his actions in mind when they vote on Nov. 6.
“Politicians need to be accountable to all of us,” the Federation wrote. “Mike Babcock will not support union members if he is elected to represent us in Springfield.”
District 9 is asking supporters to call or email Babcock to ask how much the attorneys are costing taxpayers at 618 259-2366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.